ADVENT CAROL SERVICE: The annual liturgical Procession by Candlelight with Readings and Carols for Advent will take place in St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 7pm. The hauntingly beautiful, ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel,’ will herald what promises to be a most fitting beginning to the Christmas season, with this wonderful evening of sacred music sung by a superior choir. This year the repertoire will include music by Byrd, Rheinberger and George Guest together with traditional hymns and carols. Mulled Wine and Mince Pies will be served after the Service. I must admit that this particular Cathedral Service is bound to leave its mark on all attendees as it puts everyone in the festive mood and one that exhibits the real meaning of what Christmas is really all about. An added bonus in our Cathedral of late years is the underground heating system which is proving most comforting indeed and on a cold night in December that is indeed most welcome because no matter how good the line-up might be of an evening, coldness definitely distracts from what should be a most enjoyable evening.
MAE’S EQUINE LOVE: On Sunday week last our versatile parish writer and national broadcaster, Mae Leonard, surfaced once again on ‘Sunday Miscellany.’ Her piece on that occasion was all about her visit to the National Stud which is quite close to where she lives, with some visitors from abroad. Of course her attraction in that equine emporium is the one and only Vintage Crop that she professes to be totally besotted with. She went on to praise his physical attributes if such there be in that same arena and also his outstanding achievements in winning some major races in his time during his strident years.
We look forward to yet another radio appearance from Mae soon again. It is always good to wake up to her dulcet tones of a Sunday morning.
CHRISTMAS STALL: - St Mary’s Cathedral ‘Come and Sing’ at 5.30pm: December 7, 2013. Stalls will operate from 2.00-5.30 pm. We are planning a Christmas stall for 7th December as there will be visitors coming to sing at 5.30pm; so from 2pm we will be open. We already have a number of gifts and good donated items to raffle in aid of Limerick City Parish. Can you help? We would welcome Christmas decorations (including some olive wood from the Holy Land, seasonal baking and preserves, gift items, anything that looks Christmassy and sparkling. Or seasonal table decorations) Can you help us brighten up a dark corner of the cathedral and enjoy the occasion, and help our city Parish? Any questions - contact the Dean. At 087-2658592: Email: email@example.com.
BARD OF THOMOND: Michael Hogan was born in the month of November and because of that we remember him this month. In November, 2005, a statue was erected to this great poet’s memory and has since remained untouched by even a hint of vandalism. This momentous occasion was marked by the joyful ringing out of bells from the belfry of St Mary’s Cathedral and also the presence of St Mary’s Prize Band as they marched along Nicholas Street in full regalia. A massive gathering turned out in response to the public invitation which was placed in the ‘Limerick leader,’ for at least eight days prior to the event. Having recently come upon, yet again, the pieces which were penned by a great local historian of his day, A. J. O’Halloran, I have decided to bring you a snatch from his account of the poet’s very interesting life.
“Looking across the river from the Island Bank towards Thomondgate, one may see the pleasant tree-fringed garden that Michael Hogan, the Bard of Thomond, won from the Shannon foreshore. By almost incredible toil, and with his own hands, he carried and placed in position thousands of tons of stone and other materials to make the embankments. This work was spread over a period of seven years. At the head of the garden the Bard built a house which he called Thomond Cottage, and where he hoped to spend his days within sight of the scenes he loved, and from which he drew his inspiration. But - to use his own words - ‘Domestic ingratitude and deceit, mercantile trickery, and legal treachery and fraud ‘ drove him from the home he had built, from the garden he had made, from the glorious mountain and river scenery in which he revelled, and sent him to spend his later years cooped up amidst uncongenial surroundings in the heart of the city.” (Extract from, “The Glamour of Limerick” by A J O’Halloran 1926).
NOTES WELCOME: Anyone is welcome to submit their piece to these weekly notes. This should be of particular interest to people involved in clubs, schools etc. Simply email your piece to the above address.
Pictures are also very welcome.
HEALING MASS: Maranatha Family Tree Healing Mass, Retreat through the Ministry of Fr. Pat Conlan, O.F.M. Killiney and Janice Carrigg on this Sunday, November 17 at 2.30pm to 7.30pm with Rosary, Praise and Worship, Music by Maranatha Gospel Choir, Holy Mass and Adoration at St. Paul’s Church, Dooradoyle, Limerick. Tea afterwards. All welcome.
NOAH’S ARK GOES ALL MUSICAL: Noye’s Fludde March 2014. Plans are gathering pace for the staging of the children’s opera Noye’s Fludde in St Mary’s Cathedral in year (March next 28th March - 1st April 2014). We anticipate that this production will reach a considerable number of young people in Limerick. We are fortunate to have made a good start on raising the necessary funding, but at this stage we are seeking some remaining funding in order to realise this project to its fullest potential. If anyone knows of a potential donor or sponsor who might be prepared to donate a sum, however modest towards this worthwhile project, please speak to Peter Barley, email him on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring him on 087 673 8631. Sincere thanks to our Rector and Dean, The Very Rev’d Sandra Pragnell, who supports this.
NOYE’S FLUDDE: In connection with this Opera Project we will be holding auditions shortly for the various solo roles for children. Notification has gone out to schools in Limerick area and also to local press. The likely age range is 11 -19 for girls and 10 - 13 for boys. We will be looking for strong solo singers and, in the case of the boys; they need to be treble (unchanged voices). For further information please contact Janet Bray at Villiers School telephone 061 - 451 447 or email: email@example.com.
THE REAL ANGELA: “I’ll never forget that. I’ll never forget That Woman. She trots out all sorts of tales while she enjoys the Woodbine right to the smallest bit. So closely does she smoke the cigarette that her upper lip is permanently brown...as iodine coloured as her index finger and thumb. Occasionally I’m sent down to That Woman’s house in the Lane with a box of left-over vegetables or bread. I think her family have a wonderful time. They don’t have to wash and they have a house that doesn’t ever have to be cleaned or anything. There’s plaster like chalk crumbling off the wall and you can pick it off to draw pictures on the path. The bottom of the front door has been gnawed into a jagged edge like a lace border. There’s a combination of smells, smoke and dampness, that is acceptable to me because it’s part of That Woman.” (From “Holding Court” by Mae Leonard.)
SHANNON RFC REMEMBERS: The first Munster Senior Cup three in a row reunion, 1986, 1987, 1988, will take place on Saturday, November 30, 2013, in Thomond Park. It will begin with a Pre-Match lunch, followed by an encounter between Shannon and Belfast Harlequins. Afterwards in the Clubhouse there will be presentations to all the players and the management to commemorate this great achievement and it promises to be a night of ól, ceol, agus craic. Tickets are €20. Supporters are welcome to join in the celebrations from 8 pm in the Clubhouse. Anyone interested in booking a pre-match table can contact Noel Healy at 087-6877268.
THEATRE WEEKEND IN KILKEE: One can hardly conceive of anything worthwhile happening in Kilkee during the cold and dreary month of November. This is, however, the case for the last few years. Taking a trip down there for ten days, I joined up with a few more to attend no less than four theatrical events over two weekends alone. On the first evening we attended a performance of Patrick Kavanagh’s marathon poem, ‘The Great Hunger,’ which was expertly performed by Jack Healy from Galway. This took exactly one full hour. On the following evening we attended the rather hilarious send-up of the famous Percy French’s unwelcome delay en route to Kilkee to perform that evening back in 1896. It seems that the train stopped, never to go again, at least not in time enough for his much anticipated performance. He won his case and was awarded £10, although he claims to have lost £14 in earnings due to this unfortunate event. Seems this literary gentleman was gracious in his trouble by conceding to opt for claiming only the £10! This play was called ‘Laughter in Court,’ and was performed by a local group and was written by Brian Comerford. The play on the following evening was ‘Effie’s Burning,’a most enjoyable which was performed by two local seasoned actresses. On that particular evening there was wine, minerals and tasty edibles on offer. On the second weekend there was one play entitled, ‘Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,’ by John Patrick Shanley and performed by Back of the Hand Theatre. That play was well worth seeing.
TALKTATIVE JOURNEY HOME: Monday morning of this very week arrived all too soon for me and wasn’t altogether that welcome, as it’s been my experience over many a year that no matter how long my sojourn or at whatever time of the year I spend in this hacienda by the sea, I am very slow to depart from its warm and welcoming and healthy embrace. Seems the ‘in’ place to dine of a Sunday now is over at the Diamond Rocks Café. And so, reluctantly I make my way up to Kett’s where the bus would arrive at 8.55am to take us to our destination, Limerick. Before I knew it I’m addressed by a lady I eventually just about recognise, but she sure recognised me. It was none other than Dolores (Doley) Byrnes, originally from Athlunkard Street opposite Tubridy’s Bakery. Well, say no more, as the late Walter Stanley or was it Tom O’Donnell, used to say on local radio many years ago in those precious ‘pirate’ radio days. Very quickly my little crossword book was deposited in my nearest bag.
I was quick to inform her of Denis’s latest literary offering and also that it contained a fine picture of her mother and not for the first time either. Being domiciled outside the city she was not aware of this recent publication and was delighted to learn of it, saying that by Christmas a copy would find a very welcome home in Florida. She also told me that some of my own publications had gone further afield over the years. We duly got on the bus bound for home and we never stopped talking until totally taken by surprise we found ourselves on the Bridge over the Shannon. For sure all parish people have a common bond as we talked of times past, of ‘trotters’ and ‘lots.’ Yes ‘lots’ those palatable little bones that were ever so inexpensive. They made the best stew of all. We talked of the wonderful plays that our local scouts used to put on down in the scout hall and of the nuns who taught us so very well. We talked of people we both knew and in so doing we never felt the journey until we reached that bridge.
SEPTEMBER SUNDAY: As you may well guess a book entitled, “September Sundays,’ might just be about sport and it is. It also includes twelve of the many pieces included in the book on a CD. A piece written by our parish writer and broadcaster, Mae Leonard, appears in this book which has only recently been launched in Dublin.